Study shows asking to think about broadmindedness increased concern with climate change

July 9, 2015

"In an experiment that WWF helped to conduct, it was found that asking participants to think briefly about self-acceptance or broadmindedness increased their concern about climate change - an issue more likely to be associated with values of social justice or environmental protection. Secondly, exercising an intrinsic value tends to suppress the importance that a person places on extrinsic values, and vice versa. This has been called the 'see-saw' effect. So, for example, drawing a person's attention to the importance of money (an extrinsic value) is found to reduce the likelihood that that person will help someone in need, or donate to a charity )behaviors associated with intrinsic values). Thirdly, repeatedly exercising a value tends to strengthen it in a more durable way - much like a muscle. Repeatedly reminding a person of the importance of image or social status is likely to lead that person to draw upon this value more often in making decisions in many areas of life, and (because of the see-saw effect) to place less importance on social and environmental concerns."


Tom Crompton, "Finding Common Cause," Resurgence & Ecologist, no. 280 (2013): 42

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